Richard Deacon's collaborative works with Bill Woodrow at Ikon Gallery
8 September 2021
We Thought About It A Lot, and other shared drawings, a selection of collaborative works by acclaimed British artists Bill Woodrow and Richard Deacon, opens 15 September at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. The two artists have made "shared sculptures" together since 1990, and on this occasion they reveal their "shared drawings" for the first time. Conceived as a result of a back-and-forth exchange from 2019-2020, they are manifestations of the artists surprising and responding to one another — sometimes alone whilst making individual contributions, at other times sharing the same space.
By working in this way, Woodrow and Deacon are continually absorbing, re-energising each other and reviewing their own artistic practices. The title of the exhibition is taken from one of the works in which hands are seen spelling out the words “we thought about it a lot” in sign language. At once this is a reference to the collaborative process, which the artists describe as one of “total trust”, and a more philosophical tendency, shared. Deacon elaborates on the combined artistic identity found in the works: "I think ‘shared’ makes things threefold, bringing sculpture (or drawing) into the relationship alongside our individual identities. I am very intrigued by our creation of an artist, ‘Woodrow/Deacon’, who has a career and an existence independent of either of us."
The exhibition is accompanied by the book Bill Woodrow & Richard Deacon, A Democratic Process: Shared Sculptures and Drawings, with an introductory essay by writer and curator Jon Wood.
The exhibition is on view through 21 November. Read more here.
Image: Installation view, Bill Woodrow Richard Deacon, We Thought About It A Lot, and other shared drawings at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham UK, 2021, courtesy the artist and Ikon Gallery